The Torbay Sunday Football League was formed in 1967 and it was the brainchild of two colleagues John Kempton and Gordon Fraser both of whom worked at Williams & Cox. Prior to the formation of the Torbay Football Combination League as it was then called, a small number of local firms, Williams & Cox, Rockheys, Tom Brown’s Garage, Cavannas and Sifam to name a few, would get together on a Sunday to play friendly football matches as a form of business/community spirit. These friendly matches became so popular with even Saturday players partaking that it soon came to the attention of the Devon County Football Association who suggested that the formation of a League should take place. John Kempton and Gordon Frazer contacted many firms and public houses in Torquay, Paignton, Brixham, Newton Abbot and the South Hams to see just what interest there would be. A meeting was called at the Roman Catholic Church Hall in Abbey Road, Torquay and to everyone’s great surprise around a hundred people attended.
The Torbay Football Combination League was formed with John Kempton elected as Chairman and Gordon Fraser as General Secretary and it included such teams as Herald Express, Rockheys, British Rail (Newton Abbot), Sifam, Bookers, Gerston, Mexbro, Clarence Hotel, Newton Saracens, Renwick Wilton & Dobson, Gartrells, Torquay United Supporters Club and others. Nova FC are the only club to have held continuous membership from the League's inception until today.
For many years Bill Matthews, a well known and respected local referee, was involved with the Sunday League. He started as the Referees’ representative before taking on Fixtures Secretary. Bill went on to become the Referee Appointments Officer and Discipline Secretary as well as Fixtures Secretary.
When Bill relinquished the role of Referees’ representative the vacancy was filled by another well known and respected local referee, Martin Cox, who was to become the League Treasurer and still carries out that position today. Martin has now been with the League for thirty years and continues to take a very active part in all League business.
In 1986 John Kempton persuaded an original League Management Committee member John Hockin to rejoin the Committee as Minute Secretary. John continued this role and, following the sad passing of John Kempton in 1997, took over as Chairman, the position he still occupies today.
John Kempton and Gordon Fraser are no longer with us but their legacy remains and the League continues.
After the untimely death of Bill Matthews on FA Cup Final day in 2002, John Hockin had to enlist a new Committee to manage the League. In came more respected referees Bill Phillips, Richard Turl and Jason Haywood. Added to this was Shaun Fenton who coincidentally was also refereeing at the time. Bill was appointed as Secretary, Richard as Referee Appointments Secretary, Jason as Fixtures Secretary and Shaun as Players Registration Secretary.
When Bill Phillips left Tony Gardner, another local referee became Secretary and more recently Jason Haywood has taken on the role. In 2011, Jason became the Referee Development Officer at Devon County Football Association, and he has been replaced by Simon Wallace. Richard continues as Referee Appointments Secretary, while Steve Powley, another local referee has become Fixtures Secretary. Mike Rosslee, a cousin of John, took on the role of Players Registration Secretary. Mike retired from this position in June 2010 and he was replaced by Carolyn Wallace.
Nowadays the main sponsorship for local Sunday Football League teams comes from public houses and the majority of Clubs adopt the name of the sponsor.
The League is always on the lookout for new Clubs and if anyone wishes to start a team they should contact either Simon Wallace or John Hockin who can supply them with full details.